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Agile/Remote Working (Part 3) – Change

Agile/Remote Working (Part 3) – Change

Few of us like change, so what can we do to ease the ‘pain’?…..

Agile/remote working – perhaps not as simple as it may seem?

Many organisations are now following the entrepreneurial lead and moving to a more ‘agile’ or ‘activity based’ way of working.

The tech revolution has allowed us to start to work wherever and whenever we want – central city locations for big companies are no longer the only place that we can work – coffee shop, co-working space, library, the trains are all places of work now.  

This gives us more flexibility than ever before – hoorah!  But it also poses some potential difficulties that are easily overcome with just a bit of thought – problem is that we tend not to think about them until it’s too late, and we’ve now got aches & pains, or a clunky way of working that we probably could have avoided.

In this series of blogs on agile working we’ll be working our way through all aspects of people, place and technology and giving you our thoughts on what you need to consider and why when moving away from traditional office based working routines.

So whether you’re a Freelancer, Remote Worker, Facilities Manager, or Co-working Space provider you’ll find some useful nuggets here to get you thinking.

By no means will these be exhaustive lists – just food for thought to help navigate these changes for either yourself, your employees or your clients. 

Part 3 – Change

This aspect of agile working will be relevant to employers and employees, but unlikely to have much relevance to the self-employed – it’s been your decision to make changes to your working style, so presumably it suits you well.  But if you’re an employee that’s going through an agile working transition, then that may not be the case.

So the details of how your space(s), furniture and equipment will help the transition towards Agile Working have been worked out.  Lovely job.

But not everybody is going to be up for it.  And this whole journey will only be effective if everyone is fully engaged and ready to meet the challenges of the new working style.

Employer/Employee Consultation

Having decided that Agile Working is the way to go, it’s essential that everyone is involved in the whole process.  Things that an employer might consider:

  • Share information early on about the goals of the agile workplace – explain why it’s happening
  • Conduct a study on how current space is being utilised and garner views about how Agile Working might be implemented
  • Conduct staff interviews to ensure correct information about how teams currently function within the larger organisation
  • Use a staff survey to enable employees to give anonymous but true accounts of their needs, understanding, and concerns
  • Try a post-it note board for anonymous feedback
  • Listen to, and understand feedback and concerns – incorporate these into your plans
  • Train Agile Working ‘Champions’ to help spread the word

Resistance to Change

Many people don’t like change – especially change that they have little or no control over.

This book is a bit of a change management classic that might help: http://mrlassen.wikispaces.com/file/view/Who_Moved_My_Cheese.pdf

It’s a very simplistic view of how different personalities react to change but a quick read and worth a look.

Take time to get this phase right and employees will feel included and valued which, hopefully, will result in less resistance to change.  Let staff see how they will fit into the brave new environment and how they can benefit from new working practices.

This is just a snapshot of what can be involved and we would be really interested to hear about your experiences in moving to an ‘agile’ way of working.  Let us know what’s worked for you and anything you may have done differently if you had the chance.

Another short blog, but we think that this way is best, so they are perfect for your short breaks or even your bedtime reading!

 

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